This exceptionally well-preserved armor was made for an adolescent or a small adult who was undoubtedly a member of an important noble family. It belongs to a select group of Milanese armors made between 1590 and 1610, in which etched decoration was abandoned in favor of engraving, punching, gilding, and damascening. This armor demonstrates the high standard maintained by the best northern Italian armorers at the turn of the seventeenth century.
It is the form worn by heavy cavalry throughout the sixteenth century, in which the wearer is covered from head to foot, and a lance rest is attached to the right side of the breastplate. Around 1600, however, lance-bearing heavy cavarly was being replaced by cuirassiers, heavy cavalry who were armored only to the knees and carried pistols and a sword. Features found here that are typical of the new cuirassier's armor are the close helmet with barred visor and falling buffe (face defense), the closed elbow joints, and the deep cult (skirt) attached the backplate.
Prince Khevenhüller, Castle Hoch-Osterwitz, Carinthia, Austria; Giech family, Castle Thurnau, near BayreuthWilliam Randolph Hearst, New York City (until 1938; sold through Parish-Watson & Co. to MMA).
New York. Brooklyn Museum. "Loan Exhibition of European Arms and Armor," June 12–October 31, 1933, no. 12.
Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of Mediaeval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 15–March 18, 1953, no. 11.
San Francisco. California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "Loan Exhibition of Mediaeval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 18–June 7, 1953.
Pittsburgh. Department of Fine Arts, Carnegie Institute. "Loan Exhibition of Mediaeval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 1953–April 1954, no. 11.
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Grancsay, Stephen V., and Brooklyn Museum. Loan Exhibition of European Arms and Armor. Brooklyn: Brooklyn Museum, June–August 1933. p. 6, no. 12.
Grancsay, Stephen V. "A Young Prince's Enriched Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 34, no. 11 (November 1939). pp. 260–63, figs. 1–2.
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Schedelmann, Hans. "Ein Ruckblick auf den Waffenmarkt des letzten halben Jahrhunderts." Waffen- und Kostümkunde 15, Heft 1 (1973). p. 25, no. 4.
Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49, no. 1 (Summer, 1991). pp. 28–29, 64.